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Searching for a Break in Gnp

Lawrence J. Christiano

Northwestern University; Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland; Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

August 1988

NBER Working Paper No. w2695

It has been suggested that existing estimates of the long-run impact of a surprise move in income may have a substantial upward bias due to the presence of a trend break in post war U.S. GNP data. This paper shows that the statistical evidence does not warrant abandoning the no trend null hypothesis. A key part of the argument is that conventionally computed significance levels overstate the likelihood of the trend break alternative hypothesis. This is because they do not take into account that, in practice, the break date is chosen based on pre-test examination of the data.

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Date posted: June 29, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Christiano, Lawrence J., Searching for a Break in Gnp (August 1988). NBER Working Paper No. w2695. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=227255

Contact Information

Lawrence J. Christiano (Contact Author)
Northwestern University ( email )
2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-8231 (Phone)
847-491-7001 (Fax)
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
East 6th & Superior
Cleveland, OH 44101-1387
United States
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
90 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55480
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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